Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday No. 67: The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal

Welcome to "Can't Wait Wednesday"!

This is a weekly event hosted by
Tressa @ Wishful Endings!
This is also where we excited book bloggers showcase future releases we're eagerly anticipating! 
For more information, 
please click HERE.

There's also a Linky widget, so participating blogs can link up!

Here's my choice for this week!

 The Calculating Stars
(Lady Astronaut, Book 1)
Mary Robinette Kowal
Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Tor Books
     July 3, 2018        
Alternate History, Feminist Fiction, 
Science Fiction

Mary Robinette Kowal's science fiction debut, The Calculating Stars, explores the premise behind her award-winning "Lady Astronaut of Mars."

Den of Geek―Best Science Fiction Books of June 2018
Omnivoracious―15 Highly Anticipated SFF Reads for Summer 2018

 On a cold spring night in 1952, a meteor decimates the U.S. government and paves the way for a climate cataclysm that will eventually render the Earth inhospitable to humanity, as the last such meteorite did for the dinosaurs.  This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated timeline in the earth’s efforts to colonize space, as well as an unprecedented opportunity for a much larger share of humanity to take part.

One of these new entrants in the space race is Elma York, whose experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put a man on the moon. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too—aside from some pesky barriers like thousands of years of history and a host of expectations about the proper place of the fairer sex. And yet, Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions may not stand a chance against her.

Why I can't wait for this one!

OMG!!!! This book was DEFINITELY written for me!! Lol When I was around 12 or so, my great ambition was to be an astronaut! Unfortunately, I was never athletic enough to ever go into astronaut training, and I must confess that I've always been afraid of flying....nor am I gifted in the sciences. But the whole concept of women in space was something that excited me from the very moment I first heard about the space program, back in the day! I knew I could never be part of that, and had to content myself with devouring SF books.....But I was certainly all in favor of other women getting involved! There were, and are, MANY qualified women out there! So I'm all gung-ho for them!! 
This book also caught my attention right away because I LOVE alternate history!! 
Another HUGE plus: the cover is SO BLUE!!!!

Mary Robinette Kowal was the 2008 recipient of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer and her short story "For Want of a Nail" won the 2011 Hugo. Her stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, and several Year's Best anthologies. She is the author of Shades of Milk and Honey (Tor Books,  2010) and Glamour in Glass (Tor Books, 2012).

Mary, a professional puppeteer and voice actor, has performed for LazyTown (CBS), The Center for Puppetry Arts, Jim Henson Pictures,  and founded Other Hand Productions. Her designs have garnered two UNIMA-USA Citations of Excellence, the highest award an American puppeteer can achieve. She also records fiction for authors such as Kage Baker, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi.

Mary lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters.

Amazon Author Page

What do you think of my
choice this week? 
Please leave a comment and
let me know!



  1. Replies
    1. Hi, Jenea!

      Yes, it does! I hope to be able to read it some time this year! Lol.

      Thanks for commenting!! <3 <3 :) :)

  2. This book has such an interesting premise. It is hard to believe that just a few short years ago it was considered a novelty for women to fly in space. A calamity, such as described in this book may very well have accelerated the process the way that World War II opened the door to many opportunities for women outside the home. I wonder if Mary Robinette had the World War II model in mind.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Indeed it does!! And yes, it's really hard to believe that not that long ago, it was considered "a novelty", as you put it, for women to go out into space.

      You know, I think that Star Trek TOS had a LOT to do with that stupid notion being laid to rest. Lol. Uhura and nurse Chapel were trailblazers. Then, in Star Trek Voyager, we had Captain Janeway. I never did watch this version of Star Trek, because my heart belongs to the TOS series. Lol. But of course, ST Voyager had even more with this concept becoming more widely accepted. And the ST TOS byline, "Where no man has gone before", has been amended to "Where no one has gone before". SO glad about that!! :) :)

      I agree that a calamity such as the one described in this book would have propelled (pun intended, lol) women into space MUCH sooner, in the same way that WWII opened up opportunities for women in the labor force. And, like you, I wonder if Kowal had the WWII model in mind. I would be inclined to think that she did indeed!

      I hope to be able to read this one sometime soon!

      Thanks for the TERRIFIC comment!! <3 :)

  3. I've been seeing this one around and it sounds fascinating. I just checked a science fiction book out from the library since I'm trying to read more - Sleeping Giants. I will admit I read the first chapter to get a feel for it and I'm already intrigued. I didn't know you wanted to be an astronaut. I don't remember what I wanted to be other than a lawyer and I'm glad I changed my mind. Have a great week my friend!

    1. Hi, Barb!

      Yes, it SURE does!! I want to read it SO badly!! :)

      Oh, is that the one with the giant hand? If it is, I think I have it on my GR shelves. It does sound very intriguing!

      Yeah, I did want to be an astronaut. Lol. I started reading science fiction at a pretty early age, and was fascinated with outer space adventures! I remember reading "Lucky Starr and the Moons of Jupiter" in middle school. That book was from a series written for kids by Isaac Asimov. He used the name "Paul French" for that series.

      Oh, you wanted to be a lawyer? How about that? Yeah, good thing you changed your mind! Being a lawyer is not all it's cracked up to be, right? Lol.

      Thanks for the nice comment! HUGS TO YOU AND THOSE MISCHIEVOUS PUPS, AND WOOF, WOOF TO THEM, TOO!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  4. Hand't heard of this one before but it sounds interesting to be sure. I am curious how this author sees this impact and what would happen! My CWW

    1. Hi, Eve!

      It SURE does!! I'm curious myself! And I'm also thinking that, had this really happened, women would have been out in space a whole LOT sooner!!

      Thanks for commenting!! <3 :)

  5. Women in space! So awesome! I hope you love this one when you get a chance to read it!

    1. Hi, Sara!

      Yeah, right? I wish I REALLY could have been an astronaut....but one of the components of astronaut training involves being able to tolerate high gravity forces, as well as dizziness! Plus you have to be a good athlete, as well as good in science. Sadly, I am neither....sigh....

      Well, at least I'll get to read about it! Lol. :)

      Thanks for commenting!! HUGS!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  6. Okay, I need this book now. And Mary Robinette Kowal is such a great writer!

    1. Si, Steph!

      Yeah, me too!!! Oh, you've read her work before? This will be a first for me. I came across this author on a website called "Fantastic Fiction", and was immediately intrigued!

      Thanks for commenting!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  7. I think this would be a fabulous book club read. I hope you get to read it and love it!

    I saw this one on NG not too long ago. Definitely a unique premise. I hope you love it!

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

    1. Hi, Tressa!

      Oh, yeah, DEFINITELY!! If I belonged to a book club in real life, I would suggest it. Heck, I could also suggest it to the SF book club I belong to, on Goodreads! Lol.

      Oh, you saw this on NetGelley? Interesting! But I prefer to get the printed book. I KNOW I'll LOVE this one!!

      Thanks for commenting!! HUGS!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  8. This sounds really interesting - I'm such a sucker for alternate histories and particularly one that would accelerate women into space. I always assumed I would be heading off to Mars as a small girl - so good to see a scenario when that might happen...

    1. Hi, Sarah!

      Oh, I LOVE alternate histories myself!! And yeah, one that would propel women off into space is even better!!

      So you, too, wanted to be an astronaut when you were a kid? Give me five!! Oh, it would have been SO much fun to be one, right? Lol.

      Thanks for commenting!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  9. And like you - I think that cover is awesome:))x

    1. Hi, again!

      Yeah, I LOVE that cover!! Glad you do, as well! Thanks for commenting again!! <3 :)


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